Save the summer.

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by WVbillmoore, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. WVbillmoore

    WVbillmoore New Member

    Sep 30, 2018
    I need suggestivons for a 3 week trip w wife and dog from nc to grand cAnyon, Utah parks , and back! We are experienced campers/ hikers but unfamiliar w planning travel camping to the west in early summer. Need a couple nights at least for each stop and not more than 6hrs driving each day. Suggestions?
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    Greetings from the Connecticut shoreline. We enjoyed our Grand Canyon trip
  3. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2015
    On or last 4 wk trip to UT we did a couple of base camps with day trips. Much less time setting and breaking camp and more relaxing over all. Kanab Ut is a good base for day trips to Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Cedar Breaks, Bryce and several others.`Mexican Hat is a good base for several less famous sites.

    We did 5 to 7 day, mostly dry camps, with an overnight motel stay between camps for good showers, laundry, resupply and to break up longer drives.
  4. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    Welcome from the mountains of West Virginia
  5. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Hello and welcome from Minnesota!

    Make reservations as early as possible.
  6. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

    Dec 22, 2002
    Malvern, PA
    Welcome to PopUpPortal.

    My first suggestion would be to start making definitive plans for your big destination stops.

    If you want to see the Grand Canyon, perhaps do the North Rim. The South Rim gets all the press but the North Rim get less tourists, so I'm told. The big plus is, if you don't intend to travel South of the Grand Canyon for any other stops, it's easier to get up into Utah and a bunch of other National Parks.

    Your 6 hour a day is on the money in my book. That should give you about 350 miles per day (at 65 mph average) when you figure in gas stops, lunch, bathroom stops, and the always unexpected traffic. Basing a starting point around Asheville NC, to the North Rim is 2,000 miles, or 5 days at your 6 hours per day. So now, once you figure out your departure date, you can start making the big destination reservations. I say "big destination" because most of the small ones you won't have to sweat, those being the mid-week (Sunday night thru Thursday night). I found in my travels across country in 2017 that most of the state parks I stayed in were empty mid-week. But it doesn't hurt to check on the status of a park while on the road and maybe make a reservation if it looks like a park may fill up. On these one night stops, you don't have to get the best site in the campground, just one that will suit your overnight needs.

    And start clearing the camper of all the unnecessary stuff. Start taking some practice trips and see what does and doesn't get used.

    If you are doing overnights between the big destinations, you'll also want to get into a routine for your setup/take-down. But not so much so that you're doing things blindly, "See not just Look" when setting up and taking down. Get to know your camper inside-out so when you "See" something that doesn't look right, you'll know it. Personally, I feel it best to have one person responsible for the camper setup/take-down. Remember the old Three Stooges when they're making beer? Same theory applies here.

    You've got a lot of work ahead of you but it's the fun kind. I hope you'll find this helpful and that I did't scare you off. Here's a link the my travel log for the 2nd 1/2 of my 2017 trip:
    kcsa75 likes this.
  7. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2016
    So much free/boondocking camping in that area. Spent a lot of time in Southern Utah and never needed a campground or reservations.
  8. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    Several trips through Colorado into Utah also never needed a campground, could always find a place to camp
    gladecreekwy likes this.
  9. MileHigh

    MileHigh Member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Welcome to the Portal. We live in Colorado and have spent a fair amount of time in both the Grand Canyon and the many State/National Parks in Utah. There are so many things to see/do in this area that you may need more than 3 weeks. I would stop at the following spots: North Rim of the Grand Canyon (2 nights), Zion National Park (2 nights), Bryce Canyon National Park/Kodachrome Basin State Park (2 nights) and try and get to the Moab area to see Arches National Park/Canyonlands National Park/Deadhorse Point State Park. for the remainder of your trip.

    As was mentioned above, the North Rim is much less crowded and is a great deal cooler than the South Rim. Travel time from the North Rim to Zion is about 3 hours. From Zion to the Bryce Canyon area is roughly 2 hours. Bryce to Moab is about 4 hours. While you may not need reservations, it's a nice feeling to know that you have a place to sleep at night instead of having to keep driving.

    The campgrounds in the North Rim and Arches National Park get booked well in advance. Kodachrome State Park is a nice secluded area that is close to Bryce Canyon if you can't reserve a spot there. I would start trying to reserve spots now if you have an idea on the dates that you want. Something to keep in mind: even in early summer, it can get well into the 90's and higher during the day. Make sure that you have a good cooler as you will need it. It usually cools off nicely at night though as Utah is the high desert. We prefer to stay inside the National Parks when we can as you can get a jump on the traffic and the people that tend to come out later in the day.

    No matter what you decide to do, this is a great part of the country and you will enjoy it.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    kcsa75 likes this.

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